Words by Anna Lee Vaughn | Image by Jenny Lynn Davis
Amy Stracner, a Jasper Junior High School teacher, recently received certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). This achievement ranks her among the 3% percent of National Board Certified educators nationwide.
Amy holds a Master’s Degree in Middle-Grade Math, but after 20 years in the classroom, she found herself looking for the next step.
“I was at a point where I needed to grow and take a step forward. I was researching some more advanced degree programs, but there wasn’t a degree that helped me grow how I wanted to,” recalls Amy. “One of my colleagues had recently received her certification, and she encouraged me to look into that. As I did, I realized that was what I needed.”
Amy’s goal was to grow as an educator and better help her middle-grade students. She began the rigorous process of reaching board certification in 2020. She spent the next two years completing performance-based assessments and portfolios.
The process includes providing student work samples, classroom videos, an analysis of teaching practices, and evidence that students are learning.
“You must prove that you understand the content you’re teaching and continue to reflect on yourself as a professional,” explains Amy. “It allowed me to show that I meet an extensive set of standards using my students, classroom, community, and curriculum design.”
She completed the process in May 2022 and received word of her certification in December 2022. As a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), Amy has access to a network of other NBCTs supporting her efforts to reflect on and improve her teaching.
The certification also allows her to receive leadership opportunities and to be an influential voice for her fellow teachers. Amy encourages other educators to pursue this certification.
“I would like to encourage other teachers to try this. Statistics show that NBCTs’ students achieve more, and I believe it’s a great way to move forward as an educator. It’s challenging, but it’s worth it,” says Amy. WL